Think of your brain as a giant hard drive.  It can hold a lot of information, but it does have a limit.  And, like a hard drive, the limit is reached frequently. So when new information comes in and there’s no room left, it often pushes out the other information and deletes it.

That’s why it’s really important to narrow your focus down to one, two, or three things at the most in your advertisements.  We all have a tendency to over-write or over-stuff our ads to get in that one last word.  Usually there’s something catchy at the beginning that makes viewers pay attention, but by the time the ad ends, they’ve forgotten what got their attention in the first place.  Why?  Because we’ve jammed in 16 other things.  Their brains pushed out the important stuff and remembered (if anything) the last thing they read or heard.

Focus on your One Thing; focus on your Unique Selling Proposition – what I call your Weapon of Mass Distinction.  You’re better off saying the same thing three times in slightly different ways and hope customers remember your name and attach a positive message to it.

Keep it simple.  Tell them what you offer.  Tell them what you want them to do!  Invite them in!  Then, make sure you leave them with an understanding of who you are.

They don’t sound right, they sound familiar.

Most advertising looks and sounds the same.  The same old worn-out cliches and empty promises keep popping up.  Why?  Because they sound right.  The problem is what’s really happening is that they sound familiar.  Familiar doesn’t set your business apart from the rest.

 “A limited time offer!”

“We won’t be undersold!”

“Serving you for 25 years.”

“Family owned and operated.”

“Using the freshest ingredients.”

Do you get the picture? Advertisers tend to use language in their ads that sound like… ads. The problem? When ads all look and sound alike, nothing stands out. When nothing stands out, then nothing is remembered.

Do you know how many advertising messages you see every day? The research company Yankelovich estimates the number somewhere between 3,000 and 20,000 marketing messages per day.  Even on the low end, that’s somewhere around 3,000! 3,000!

From the label on your toothpaste, to the television commercials on the morning news, to the billboard you see on the way to work, to the radio commercials you hear in the car, to the digital ads on your phone, you are blasted with thousands of advertising messages on a daily basis.

Avoid letting the clichés creep into your vocabulary.  Keep it simple and keep it focused.  If you can get customers to just remember One Thing – Your Weapon of Mass Distinction – you win!

Is it any wonder it’s tough to stick out or get noticed?

“The Nausea Rule”

That’s where “The Nausea Rule” comes into play.  In its simplistic form, it’s deadly consistent advertising done over long periods of time.

When the time comes that you are so sick of seeing a advertisement that if you see it one more time, you‘re going to throw up… regular folks are just beginning to notice your message.

“15 minutes could save you…”

I know you read that and said 15%.  That’s because Geico spend more than ONE BILLION dollars one year in advertising in 2015.  You read that number right.  In the week of Oct 19-26, 2016, Geico spent $24.4 million dollars jamming that message down our throats.  And they’ve been doing that for years.

State Farm and Progressive spent more than half a billion last year.  I’ll bet you know how Flo is and what the Discount Double Check means.

If you’re going head-to-head with big names, you better have deep pockets.  But there are ways to set yourself apart.

  1. Define your unique selling proposition
  2. Figure out a clever, creative, or interesting way to showcase it
  3. Drive it home relentlessly

Advertise for the long-term, consistently, over a long period of time.  Change your creative approach, but don’t change your underlying brand and value message.  Sell your Weapon of Mass Distinction every time you do anything.